Thursday, June 09, 2022

My Kitchen Cabinet


The Congolese student fighting with pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine

Jean Claude Sangwa took up arms in Luhansk – and his pro-Moscow views are mainstream in much of Africa

I thought of Rod M, as I was reading the article above yesterday. As we often meet up when he passes through London, I can see that (passim) he left to work on the ground with the  United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or MONUSCO, in September 2008.

I am all but sure that when we saw George III in the Wyndham Theatre in November 2014 he was en route from DR Congo to the Ukraine to take up a role with the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) monitors. When he got there he sent me a photo of him outside the 'MIR' Hotel, Severodonetsk. The hotel is probably rubble now what with "Severodonetsk: Zelensky ties fate of east Ukraine to battle for city" (BBC 8 hours ago).

Right at the end of 2018 (passim) I learned he was off to Mali. The Wagner Group anyone?

I imagine I am reheating a lot of the above, but it has struck me how much better qualified he must be to talk about Congolese pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine and the pro-Moscow views that are mainstream in much of Africa than anyone I will hear on the radio. (I am amazed and impressed that the Guardian has broken ranks even to the extent of acknowledging the phenomenon.)

More and more, I am starting to suspect that I personally know someone who is better informed on any specific hot button issue than any member of the dreary commentariat.

I will start gathering these exemplars together over the months and years into my own new Kitchen Cabinet. Rod is the first official member. Our annual meeting will be in the Royal Standard as opposed to Davos.

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